After Aftenposten on 1 July united with three other Nordic newspapers and published a protest letter in support of Press freedom in Hong Kong on the front page, the Chinese Embassy in Norway is now responding with shock over the content and allegations.
In a statement posted by Aftenposten, The Embassy states the following:
“We have become aware of the open letter in Thursday’s Aftenposten. We are shocked by the content and strongly dissociate ourselves from the accusations. They are based on incorrect information.
History over the last hundred years has shown that the Chinese Communist Party and the Chinese government have always been both the People’s Party and the People’s Government. “Of the people, for the people” – to serve the interests of most Chinese is the main goal. No one is better able to assess this than 1.4 billion Chinese.
Freedom of expression, including freedom of the press, is protected by the Chinese Constitution, the Hong Kong Basic Law, and national security law. Like any responsible government, China has a duty to ensure that the media and public opinion are not disturbed or manipulated by external forces that would harm the nation’s security and the interests of the people. The government shall protect the right of ordinary citizens to have access to facts and truths.
In accordance with the law, the Hong Kong SAR Government instituted legal action against certain newspapers and their employees. This did not happen because of what the newspapers said, but what they did. Not because of who they criticized, but because of who they conspired with. Freedom of speech will always be protected. Only those who conspire with external forces and endanger China’s sovereignty will be punished in court.
As President Xi Jinping said during the celebration marking the centenary of the Chinese Communist Party: “We welcome all proposals and all well-meaning criticism.” We are convinced that these lies will not stand the test of time. The truth will eventually prevail.
We sincerely hope that our friends in the media, including Aftenposten, will be able to watch and report on China from an objective point of view and show the world a real China.”